combosaladI had my girlfriends over for Sunday lunch this last weekend and I wanted to make a meal that could be finished and ready to serve before they arrived so I wouldn’t be doing the rush around the kitchen like a mad woman while at the same time trying to entertain!

So I decided on 2 yummy cold salads: a Nicoise Salad (my own version) + a fresh Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad with Cucumber & Feta (from

They both could be made up in advance the night before and stored in the fridge ready to be served.  Although these two salads are very different, their flavours complimented each other really well.

Ash’s twisted Nicoise Salad

What I love about a Nicoise salad is the versatility of foods that can be used and it caters to all – vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians and meat eaters.  Also, it’s casual dining experience allows your guests to pick and choose what and how much they want to eat.  It is a composed salad so the ingredients are artfully displayed on a platter which adds to your presentation – I received a few ooo’s and aaaa’s when it was served!


Ingredients & Instructions:

Serving of 4

  • a bunch of lemon and garlic marinated Sicilian green olives (these can be found at your local deli/grocery store)
  • a bunch of Kalamata olives
  • a bunch of Boccocini
  • 4 Boiled eggs cut in half
  • 4-6 Fresh cos lettuce hearts
  • 1 can of corn (drained and rinsed)
  • a couple cold meats (I bought some lovely polish sausage and smoked ham)
  • fresh basil leaves to garnish the platter and of course eat!
  • half a pint of cherry or other mini tomatoes
    • cut in half & dossed with pest0 (I used my homemade pesto but store bought is just as good)
  • 2 grilled Atlantic salmon fillets (with 1 tbsp olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon and salt & pepper)
    • salt and pepper your fresh salmon on both sides
    • heat tbsp of olive oil in a pan on med-high
    • fry the salmon a couple minutes on each side (or until crisp on the outside and cooked to your desire on the inside)
  • garlic green beans & spinach – a couple generous handfuls of green beans & the same amount of spinach (with 2 tbsp olive oil and 5 cloves of garlic finely chopped)
    • heat olive oil in a pan on low-med
    • saute your garlic for a few minutes
    • then add your green beans, increase the heat and stir them around for a minute
    • then add your spinach and continue to toss around for another minute
    • I like my beans crisp so a few minutes at most will do

Lemony Orzo Pasta Salad with Cucumber and Feta

This salad is quick and simple, and full of fresh flavours.

lemonfetaorzosaladIngredients & Instructions:

Serving of 4

  • 1-1/2 cups dry orzo pasta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, or just enough to lightly coat the pasta
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 large English cucumber, seeded and chopped
  • 1tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

Cook the orzo al dente according to package directions. Drain the pasta, let cool for a couple of minutes, and toss with the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, cucumber, herbs and feta. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve chilled or at room-temperature.


Bon appetite!


Peachy Ash